Sam

Manchester Arena

In Hope, Manchester, News, Random on May 23, 2017 at 11:55 pm

We are hurt, they got us, they struck the heart of our city.

I was distracted by flashes on my curtain, thinking the weather turned for the worse, I ran up to look outside and expected torrential rainfall. Instead, there was nothing, the sky was clear and it was quiet, what else should I have expected on a Monday night?

I sat back at my desk and thought nothing of it. Soon enough, I started noticing chatter on my newsfeed, initially reports of an explosion at the Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande was playing, first it was balloons with gas, then speakers backstage. It took a terrible turn when they announced fatalities as well as injuries, I started seeing videos of panicked stampede and the predominantly young audience rushing to get out. I turned the radio on and heard witnesses describe the situation, and soon – it was declared a major incident on every news channel.

As the night wore on, the tragedy sunk in. It wasn’t accidental – Manchester was under attack. Before I climbed into bed they confirmed that 19 had died and 59 injured. It felt sickening – there’s been a bomb in OUR city. I didn’t nod off until 3am, by then the situation was under some control.

Today

I woke up to see that 22 have died. It was a shrapnel bomb from a suicide bomber. My heart was heavy as I made my way to work. Throughout the day we found out more information, including the identity of the victims, an 18yrs old, 26yrs old and the youngest at 8yrs old – that was devastating, that really hurt. I’ve been emotional all day, it’s affected me more than I realised – it happened in my city, it happened to children and so many have died.

After work I went to the vigil outside town hall in Albert Square, a few of us came. It was only for half an hour and the five minutes silence was impeccably observed, the Manchester poem stirred our hearts. I was on the edge of tears, thinking about the children and that 8yr old. This is Manchester, we do things differently. We defy, we stand up, we never bow to terror. We rose up before and will rise up again. It’s been a horrendous event but we will never let them win.

(Sign inside the Central Library)

I’m proud of the city, so many have turned up, some couldn’t even get into the square, we were fortunate to get in among the centre crowd. The sun beamed on our sombre evening. It was good to be there to show support. I’m so glad I went.

I went for a drink with Kev, it’s good to see someone and talk about things. Didn’t get home till 10pm, even then, I felt the wounded city was healing slowly. Manchester won’t be kept down, it will keep going, that’s the Manchester way.

Saturday Night Show Time 8

In Dance on May 13, 2017 at 11:55 pm

I didn’t take part in the October Show, figured I better get back again. This is my 8th show, that’s… a lot! Anyway, originally I was meant to be in three pieces, Tap was cancelled due to lack of lesson time – two isn’t enough to do the routine Verity wanted. She’s our new teacher and to be fair to her, was thrown in the deep end so soon after her appointment. She didn’t know us that well and what our capabilities were, I don’t think we’ve built that connection yet. In a way, it was too soon to be doing a routine – that we, in all honesty, struggled with! It didn’t help by the fact many regulars couldn’t take part – the heart of the group wasn’t there. We always had a blast as the tappers, we were a great bunch and we had some GREAT shows. Without the core, me, T and K struggled. That’s why we pulled the plug. Next time! You can’t have a show without Tap.

The day

I was rushing around in the afternoon, much more than I would have liked to. The stage rehearsal at 4 didn’t go that well because I wasn’t mentally prepared – my mindset wasn’t in it, we were second on stage and I should have been more awake! I had a block and cocked up the Jazz section – completely. Luckily the Contemporary went better. I over-worried on Contemporary and forgot about Jazz, that was my fault. The rehearsal was different, we went in and danced without instructions from tutors (we used to have corrections in-between each dance). Considering everybody had just 15 minutes on stage during their last lesson, I reckon we did well!

We had an hour rest in our usual Studio 2, luckily there was another chance to practise and… much better! Every group had their turn and the hour was gone in a blink. Our Jazz piece was early, it went fine – maybe a minor hitch when I didn’t jump on time. Wish I rehearsed this more, should have taken it more seriously! I also cocked up on the final bow, too early! Must have looked like an idiot! Never mind.

Contemporary was at the end of second Act, we waited for ages. Mild confusion over when to head downstairs, but it was fine. I reckon we saved our best for the show. It went alright, no mistakes – maybe a lack of ‘performing’ face, I hate the fake smiling, or show smiling. I just dance for me, not for anyone else. Meh.

That’s it

Another show done. It gets more and more organised each time, and we did something new… each group came on at the end to bow, stand and clap. It’s a new thing, not a fan of it cos I prefer to be done and sat at the back watching! Lets hope it’s a one-off! Carlotta was in her element, she was a very able lieutenant like Josh, those guys were fantastic keeping the engine oiled. It was Verity’s first show, I hope she’s proud and seen what KNT meant to us all. I’m hoping she’ll push us and herself… upwards!

Had a good drink and chat afterwards at the bar and called it a night at 10, kinda missed SW, cos we usually go for further beer. Never mind, always a next time!

I’m pretty tired. So glad this is over with. It started off with a lull, then frustration at mistakes, but ended up with a decent piece. It’s not the best show I’ve done – maybe it’s because I miss the tap family, I really do.

Until next time!

 

And it hit me…

In Dance on May 8, 2017 at 11:55 pm

I was in the middle of the tap class when it hit home, Ailsa was gone. It’s weird – I heard my body and my mind whispering in the background. It’s not the same, and it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just circumstances. I didn’t expect it to be honest, I was feeling lethargic and a mixture of things just made me suddenly re-evaluate my journey in tap.

A part of it, is our high expectations, that will always be the case but equally the adventure is gone. We need more challenge and I feel the discipline, techniques and weekly lessons are less fun, possibly resulting in lower turnout of students. It’s a shame and I don’t know what the solution is, I want to develop – not gliding through the hour. I feel sad, and it really hit me in the middle of class.

Let’s keep going. I need to.